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Today marks the first day of winter! Here at Scholastic, we celebrate the winter solstice by (of course) reading snowy, wintry books. Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner is the perfect book for the occasion! Many children wonder where animals go for the winter, and this book answers their questions with a sweet father-child story that is full of factual details. The illustrations, showing the forest animals huddled under the snow as the people ski above them, are absolutely stunning! Senior Editor and Book Talk Video maven Alison Morris tells all in this Video Book Talk.
We have included the transcript below for your convenience.
Where do animals go in winter? Find out in Over and Under the Snow, written in lovely, alliterative prose by Kate Messner and illustrated with elegant flat color by Christopher Silas Neal. Their beautiful book captures the quiet of winter and casts a rather magical spell when you read it aloud.
Over the snow, a flash of fur—a red squirrel disappears down a crack.
“Where did he go?”
“Under the snow,” Dad says.
“Under the snow is a whole secret kingdom, where the smallest forest animals stay safe and warm. You’re skiing over them now.”
As the narrator and her dad continue their winter cross-country trek we see the underground habitats of woodland creatures beneath them and observe the things that creatures do both on and under the snow. An author note at the end tells readers more about the subnivean zone (the spaces between the snowpack and ground), and offers additional facts about animals’ winter behavior.
Use this nonfiction gem to start a conversation about seasons, habitats, adaptation, hibernation, or just because it goes so nicely with a cup of hot cocoa.
December 21, 2012